One person was wounded in what was the second shooting in Seattle’s protest zone in less than 48 hours, police said.
The shooting happened late Sunday night in the area near Seattle’s downtown that is known as CHOP, for “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest,” police tweeted, adding that one person was at a hospital with a gunshot wound.
The person arrived in a private vehicle and was in serious condition, Harborview Medical Center spokesperson Susan Gregg said in a statement.
The zone evolved after weeks of protests in the city over police brutality and racism, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, a black man, in Minneapolis.
The Sunday shooting followed a pre-dawn shooting on Saturday in a park within the zone that left a 19-year-old man dead and a 33-year-old man critically injured. The suspect or suspects in that first shooting fled the scene, and no arrests had been made as of Sunday, Detective Mark Jamieson had said.
A sign welcomes visitors on East Pine Street during ongoing Black Lives Matter events at the so-called “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” in Seattle, Wash., on June 14, 2020. (David Ryder/Getty Images)
It wasn’t immediately clear where within the zone Sunday night’s shooting took place. The Seattle Fire Department arrived at the scene at 10:46 p.m. and went to a staging area near the zone’s perimeter, fire department spokesperson David Cuerpo told The Seattle Times.
The fire department was soon notified that the injured person has already been taken away. Both victims in Saturday’s shooting—whose identities hadn’t yet been released—were also transported to the same hospital via private car.
Seattle police tweeted that they had heard of a second shooting that they were unable to verify, given “conflicting reports.”
Further details about what transpired Sunday night weren’t immediately available. It wasn’t clear whether anyone was in custody.
The CHOP zone is a several-block area cordoned off by protesters near a police station in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. President Donald Trump, a Republican, has criticized Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee, both Democrats, for allowing the zone.
Response to Deadly ‘CHOP’ Shooting
Seattle police released the body camera footage of officers responding to the fatal shooting in the CHOP zone over the weekend.
“This is inside the area referred to as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP),” the department wrote in a statement. “Officers attempted to locate a shooting victim but were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers’ safe access to the victims.”
The body camera footage showed officers arriving before heading through the zone with guns drawn as angry occupiers yelled profanities and approached the officers.
An officer in the video can be heard yelling: “Please move out of the way so we can get to the victim! All we want to do is get to the victim and provide them aid!”
Protesters are then heard telling the police to “put your guns down.”
“Homicide detectives responded and are conducting a thorough investigation, despite the challenges presented by the circumstances,” the department said.
The president of the union representing a Seattle police union told Fox News that “violence has now besieged the area known as CHOP, and it is no longer the summer of love, it’s the summer of chaos.” He was referring to the flowery “summer of love” comment made by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan earlier this month when she described the autonomous zone.
A 1970s-era poster of activist Angela Davis hangs at a boarded up and closed Seattle police precinct on June 21, 2020. (Elaine Thompson/AP Photo)
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters in response to the shooting:
“I certainly believe we have to find a way to simultaneously have the community a chance to speak and for police services and importantly fire services to people to be able to be provided. Clearly we need to have a way to provide adequate police and fire protection everywhere in the state of WA including in that area.”
Over the weekend, the New York Post published a written, first-hand account from journalist Andy Ngo, who has long documented the far-left militant group Antifa throughout the Pacific Northwest, about CHOP. Because of a lack of “agreed-upon leadership,” he wrote, “those who have naturally risen to the top have done so with force or intimidation.”
“Though CHAZ claims to have no rules, it quickly developed a complex code of conduct that varied from zone to zone and even the time of the day. For example, those in the garden area, who are mostly white, need to make sure they do not ‘recolonize’ the space,” Ngo wrote, as he detailed random acts of violence in the zone.